Closer than they Appear: Givat Ram
Curator: Caine Ariel
27 Apr — 15 June, 2013
Between 2010 and 2013, Dana Arieli visited Givat-Ram as a photographer. She was no stranger to the campus, having studied and worked there for over 20 years. The “photographic study” which ensued displayed Givat-Ram in a different light, revealing the many concealed aspects in this supposedly accessible, and even habitual, garden-campus.
From the National Natural History Collection, to the library halls, the gardens and the campus rooftops, she encountered a once-familiar environment made as if to commemorate the inherent tension between essence and appearance.
Inaugurated in 1958, the campus was situated near the gateway to the capital, at a safe distance from the troubled eastern side of the city where Mount Scopus stood. Clearly, it was modeled after the Garden City movement, while it also incorporated flat ‘International Style’ buildings, garden walkways and greenery. It was in great variance with the improvised solution of the time: the transitory buildings scattered throughout the city and the National Library in the Terra-Santa building on the edge of Rehavia.
Each campus maintains a unique rhythm detaching it from its surroundings. Situated on the edge of the “National Quarter”, built on the ruins of the Arab village Sheikh Badr, maintaining its detachment was and still is a difficult task: both physically and politically.
The photographs in this exhibition present a first-ever attempt to visually contend with the totality of the Hebrew University on Givat-Ram. While giving form to its fundamental conflicts, they reveal different compositions, still allowing us to view them not only as negative spaces but as manifestations of a constructive reality.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, with essays by Ariel Caine, Eyal Chowers, Naomi Meiri-Dann, Miki